How to Get Back on AT&T’s Unlimited Data Plan

By , Jun 28, 2011

AT&T no longer offers its new or existing customer’s unlimited data. This is unfortunate, but not permanent. This method will allow you to have unlimited data for use with any phone on any account on the AT&T Wireless network.

This guide is the culmination of several people’s struggles in getting AT&T to give them back something they deserve. Originally posted back in October and updated a little while after, we’re back to give it to you again! This time with an easier to follow guide!

The following is a guest post by my good Twitter friend Mathew Rice.

Prerequisites

  • One first generation iPhone (aka iPhone 2G)
  • One unactivated or valid (working) microSIM card or Standard SIM card (deactivated SIM cards will not work)
  • Free time to deal with potential issues that may arise (resolutions detailed below article)

The Process

The first thing you need to do is obtain a First Generation iPhone, commonly known as the iPhone 2G and how we will refer to it from here on out.
Once you’ve obtained an iPhone 2G, you’ll want to give it a full restore in iTunes. You can do this with your SIM card installed or without. You’ll have to put your SIM card in later anyways, so if you don’t need to use your actual phone while the process completes, then install your SIM and save yourself a step later.

Once the restore has completed, iTunes will bring you to the phone activation screen (assuming your SIM card is installed, if it’s not, disconnect your iPhone, insert the SIM card and reconnect your iPhone). Fill in the required account info and proceed. Whatever options you choose during activation won’t really matter as certain account features you already have will override, like unlimited family messaging and the likes. As well, the great part about this portion of the process is that Unlimited data is non-optional :p – At the end of the activation process, iTunes should tell you something like, “You’ll receive an email when your activation is complete”. Once you’ve got the email, all is well and you now have an Unlimited Data plan.

You can verify this many ways like dialing *DATA# from your phone. You’ll then receive a text message with details about your data plan where it will indicate you have unlimited data. You can also log-in to your AT&T account online and go to the features portion of your account to see unlimited data for whichever phone line you used during activation.

Read on for info on known issues and for answers to frequently asked questions.

Known Issues

If the iPhone 2G you are using is still assigned to another AT&T account, activation might not complete, you might not receive the activation complete email and after a long wait, you will get an, “unable to complete activation email”. This is the most common reason for failed activations. If you know the account assignment status of the iPhone 2G, make sure you replace the iPhone 2G on that account with another phone first. This means AT&T has to have the replacement phone on-file for the account that once had the iPhone 2G you are using.

Resolution – You’ll need to call AT&T and have them manually activate the phone for you. It helps to tell them you were trying to activate your unlimited data iPhone plan through iTunes with your iPhone. As well, you can go to any company owned AT&T store and they can get you setup as well. Make sure to bring the iPhone 2G with you and that you are or have with you, the primary account holder.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if I am on a Family Plan?
Answer: The process is the same, just make sure you are or know the account info of the primary account holder

What if I am on an Employee Plan?
Answer: The process is the same, just make sure you are or know the account info of the primary account holder

My microSIM card does not fit in this iPhone 2G!
Answer: That’s right; you’ll need to get a microSIM adapter or a Standard SIM card. You can get the latter from any company owned AT&T store. They can also take care of the whole process for you too. So if you go that route, have them set you up. Make sure to bring the iPhone 2G with you.

I got a text message from AT&T telling me they switched my data plan!
Answer: This is normal, if you place your SIM card into an AT&T known smartphone like an iPhone 3G or newer, AT&T will automatically switch you to the $30 unlimited data plan. This is because the iTunes quoted $20 unlimited data plan is only qualified for iPhone 2G devices. No worries though, you still have unlimited data! Go on, check, dial *DATA# :p

Your Guide Sucks, it didn’t work for me!
Answer: This guide is for reference only. There are no guarantees nor where there any given. However, are you sure you followed all the steps and read carefully? Are you or do you have the primary account holders info? Make sure you are or do! You can also check out the original article and sift through the comments to see if anyone else has had a similar issue like yours.

Any question, feel free to ask below.

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • buyer buyer

    is there a particular version on itunes ot be used ??
    i tried ur procedure but moment i put my sim card, it automatically gets activated without itunes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002590228341 Punajbi Jatt

      Currently it is not working…..wait until lordofthereef update its working or not…..

  • elefenesh gizaw

    So the AT&T has the iPhone 2g sim card

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002590228341 Punajbi Jatt

      yes At&t do have iPhone 2g sim card you can order online free at&t.com or go to at&t store get for free..
      you can use microSIM with microSIM adapter in iPhone 2g then use same sim card in iphone 3g or 4…

  • Anonymous

    This is down. For good. Game Over. Was awesome while it lasted. Happy to have helped so many community members.

    I have a friend who does FAN discounts. He can do 28% if there is interest. You all know where to find me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Smith/747975507 Joe Smith

      I know this might sound like a dumb question but 28% discount on what? Since you can’t get unlimited data anymore.

      • Anonymous

        On your monthly bill. That is what a FAN discount is. Google search works miracles, friend! I am told it may cure cancer! ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294167832 Jhonneri Munoz

        How can I get this FAN discount?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002590228341 Punajbi Jatt

        yes i want to know too How can I get this FAN discount?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002873262187 Leif Barkhousen

        If the fan discount stays forever I’d like it too since it’s much more than my current 15% discount.

      • Anonymous

        Text me… 5159816826… it’s plastered all over this thread/

        All you guys have to do is look for it in this thread.

    • Steven Karagias

      If your friend is willing to add the discount that’d be great. My email is skaragias at gmail d0t c0m.

      I went out and bought an iPhone 2g, but it didn’t work. It just activated. I wish I would have read the comments first. Maybe update the article to inform other community members?

      Oh well. It was only $40. Hope AT&T brings back unlimited data again.

    • Andre Vilela

      Hi I’m really interest on this FAN discount. How does it work?

    • nosmohtac

      I would be very interested in the 28% FAN discount.

  • Justin Bousquet

    Damn, I went and bought an iPhone1,1 just for this process and when the wife’s usage got too high. Unfortunately, I guess I waited too long… Oh well… Should have just made her do it! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jose-Sainz/100000533228784 Jose Sainz

    it never takes me to activation screen it activates itself?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002590228341 Punajbi Jatt

      at&t fixed it so no more unlimited data….it dose not work any more……

  • Sam M.

    I just tried this, Iphone 2G activated but still shows 2Gb data when try *Data#

  • Anonymous

    I tried this with different versions of iTunes with different firmwares, unactivated sim card, and a dfu restore each time. The iPhone 2G always activates automatically with no option in iTunes for a data plan.
    Hope this answers a lot of peoples questions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jose-Sainz/100000533228784 Jose Sainz

    This is no longer working

  • Anonymous

    Anyone know if this is still working? I currently have an iPhone 4S and am on the 200MB monthly data plan and would LOVE to get the unlimited data plan for $30/month!

    • Anonymous

      It is not… the last dozen or so posts are people stating this. Nobody reads threads anymore…

      • Anonymous

        I saw the comments after I posted but I didn’t realize the comments were organized from oldest to newest. Do u know of anyway to get unlimited 3G still? Pretty much willing to do anything…lol. I would switch to Sprint but it’s too late…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664469110 Aimee Campbell

    Can the unlimited data be obtained if used with a go phone sim card in an iPhone 4?

  • Elijah Primachenko

    Itunes does not give me the option to register! :( I did a fresh restore

  • Cory Zimmerman

    Great stuff! My question is … what about just the voice part of the plan??? i.e., can I get a NEW cell plan with an iphone 2g???
    A friend recently upgraded, and she gave me her old iphone 2g. I already have an iphone 4 on AT&T, so I want to give my recently-inherited iphone 2g to my Dad and add set up a family plan on my existing account, but … my concern is that since all the voice plans are now 3g and 4g, will AT&T let me set up a new voice account w/the 2g phone and network? or will this iphone 2g work on the 3g voice network???
    Any info would be great!
    Thanks!

  • Vignesh S

    We still are using the iphone 2g on the original unlimited plan, just never got around to buying or upgrading the phone. If I put this sim in a current phone will it be grandfathered since it’s an active unlimited account even though ATT has closed off new 2g activations?

  • Vignesh S

    We still are using the iphone 2g on the original unlimited plan, just never got around to buying or upgrading the phone. If I put this sim in a current phone will it be grandfathered since it’s an active unlimited account even though ATT has closed off new 2g activations?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1026138605 Cody Morrissey

    What if i dont have a data plan. Can i use this to get a free unlimited data plan on my AT&T go phone Iphone 3G?

  • Anonymous

    If you add a new line to existing family plan with this method, it will be no two year contract? What I’m thinking is activate an iphone 2g unlimited then upgrade it to 4s… any comment would be appreciated~!

  • http://twitter.com/iAppleTech2 iAppleTech

    Does this method work yet??

  • Anonymous

    Is there any possible loophole to still get unlimited data??
    iPhone 4S at&t 2g Data Plan (Un-Grandfathered)

  • Jacob61916

    Does this method still work?

  • brian

    Hi there, I hope this isn’t too late… I used to have the unlimited on my iPhone 2G, but I cancelled it and went with another carrier. However, I still have the iPhone 2G and I’ve been trying so hard to get the unlimited plan again. Do you think it would still work?

  • Jovanny

    Does this still work even though now they have LTE

  • samir patel

    Can you restore the first generation iPad 3G and get unlimited data back?

  • Galindo909

    Does this still work and will it work if I’m a new costumer

  • Terry K

    I activated iphone 2g using 4g LTE SIM card, restored from iTunes and before getting connect to iTunes screen I inserted my activated 4g LTE SIM card into 2g phone. It was activated but when I checked data it remains the same my current limited data plan. Nothing changes to unlimited plan. Why? And how should I do next?

  • Jonah Christakis

    does this still work